Indian summers, powered by climate change, are increasingly designed to keep you indoors. Those who can’t escape to less punishing temperatures are left with the comfort of frequent naps and festive brunches. Which also makes summer an ideal time to revamp your interiors—switch those threadbare curtains, expand your garden, makeover a neglected corner. To get started, we asked five architects and designers to share their moodboard for a cooler, summer-ready home.
1. Do the Tadelakt
Tadelakt, a décor trend that’s gaining popularity on Pinterest boards, lends a cooling effect to walls. “It’s basically a lime-based Moroccan plaster technique that makes the space cool and refreshing, both for the weather and in an aesthetic sense,” says Areen Attari, co-founder of the bio-architectural firm Put Your Hands Together (PYHT).
Also consider adding earth finishes, such as terracotta flooring, or mud-plastering a wall, for a similar soothing effect.
2. Play with cane
To ward off cabin fever, create an efficient outdoor space that is sheltered from the sun. “A summer design element that can be added to existing balconies or consciously added to new balcony constructions would be a metal framework with 6x6 inch grids, which can be fitted with bamboo or mud planters,” says Chennai-based architect Shruti Omprakash, founder of Drawing Hands Studio.
Another summer-appropriate décor element you can use is handwoven cane. The trend is being revived within the design community for being eco-friendly and impactful. “A plethora of pieces, from screens to side tables, are currently trending,” says Omprakash. “Screens made of handwoven cane are back in style from the 1960s—a simple, portable one with customized perforations can be used as a temporary sun-control in spaces with large windows or openings.”
3. Get on the floor
Instead of lounging on thick fabric sofas and tufted carpets, create a more laid-back floor-seating arrangement. Anjali Mody, founder of Goa-based Josmo Studio, suggests using colourful throw pillows (off-white and canary yellow are her go-to summer colours) while entertaining large groups of people. “Also, throw down some big dhurries. They are easy to move around, thin, light, and don’t gather too much dust,” she says.
Mody also recommends making considerate additions for your winged neighbours. “I fill bird feeders with water and keep them by my windows and garden to allow our little flighty friends to hydrate.”
4. Buy breathable fabrics
Ekta Parekh of Mumbai-based architectural firm reD Architects says that though grey is the neutral colour of choice this season, fabrics in bolder tones make for a more cheerful summer palette. For a tropical touch, add block-printed floral- and foliage-print as soft furnishings.
“It’s the easiest way (to adapt for the season) without getting labour involved. Upholstery, curtains, throw pillows, can all have rich tones but be made with breathable fabrics like linen and canvas,” says Parekh.
For those keen on a more elaborate design makeover, Parekh recommends working in the furniture trend of the season: dark wood. “We’re stepping away from pale, bleached woods that were hugely popular thanks to the Scandinavian trends of recent years. 2018 is the year where darker wood tones signify the resurgence of retro glamour, and provide a new take on modern luxe,” she says.
5. Create an indoor garden
To dial down the heat and let in oxygen, find creative ways to bring your garden indoors. Dress up a wall with climbing planters, dedicate a corner to flowering summer plants (such as hibiscus and night-blooming jasmine), or add pops of colour with bright-hued ceramic pots or a painted window box.
At his home in Mumbai, architect and designer Rooshad Shroff uses towering plants to effortlessly transform the look of a room. “I have fig plants that are 7-8ft tall. The benefit of tall plants is that it almost feels like having a tree indoors, and it changes the vibe of a space.”